Don Carlos: hired by the Seattle Opera to do their advertising for several years and this was from that series. I wanted to again make them feel like a Renaissance type of painting, hence the torn edges which gave it the feel of some of the work that I saw during that time. The sky was a motif that was also used often, to elicit feelings of "heaven & god" which was very important during this period.

Woman Diving. I Iwanted to play around with an art collage of elements.... glass, marbles, cutout diver and add the water effect again like in the blue swimsuit shot.

Queen Elizabeth. I was looking through some books on Renaissance painters and thought how interesting to do some fantasy images with this sort of painterly feel to them. I was so pleased when I first showed them to people for they would ask " what is this?" . . . a painting ?

Madame Butterfly. From the Opera series. I have always liked the wood block prints that were done by the Japanese artists that have been done for centuries. They have such a quiet, reserved sensibility to them which I think is very common in the Japanese culture. As with the Renaissance images, I decided that this would be an effective way to portray Puccini's Opera, Madame Butterfly from the late 1800's. I used a little creative license for the wood block prints which were created more in the 1500-1750's, but still used today. A textured screen gives the feeling of the woodblock and the stylist did a fabulous job with the hair and makeup. I liked adding the Japanese calligraphy which was also common with the prints as well.

Witch in blue. I shot this one in black and white and then later colorized in photoshop. It is again quite amazing what several artists can do together . . . just a bunch of kids playing !

Blue Swimsuit.Some fantastic art glass that had all kinds of different properties of patterns, colors, and densities to them. I later used this concept for billboards that would run for a national clothing store and the swimsuit company, creating the entire image without using photoshop. The glass cast a very unusual water like feeling on a large print that I had made. I then re-photographed the black and white print using a color gel with the glass to create the blue-water effect.

Britt Beauty. This image was done for a really fabulous clothing designer, Britt Rynearson, to be used for advertising her designs. Britt was a great person to collaborate with for she had the idea to use the perforated wood sheets that the model is surrounded by. It is such a great exerience to work with other artists to come up with something new. I later, in photoshop, added the extra fabric layer you see here. One of the most exciting things about what we do is that one can continue to take everything a step further and further and further !

Tosca. Puccini opera from the 1900's . It contains depictions of torture, murder and suicide. It was more difficult for me to come up with something that I thought was visually interesting and unusual. I decided to create something that was a little more directly related to the opera than some of the others. We used costumes and sets that were somewhat typical of the late 1800's and more true to the story. I again, later in photoshop, added the textured effect to give it that old world feeling.


Blue Wedding in Cemetery. This was one of the images I wanted to explore about beginnings, endings, and death. I liked the contrast and ambiguity of the bride in a cemetery which may make one think or question some of the most significant moments in life, and how they relate to one another. ( not sure if I am getting this across very well, but hopefully you see where I am going ! ) . This is a very old school way to create this image. This was done in the darkroom by adding cellophane on top of the paper. The light goes through it before it hits the paper. This technique has been done many times in the past.


Portfolio: The fascinating world of Rocky Salskov

by Kara Fox

Engaged to my second husband, who excelled in advertising and promotion, we, my children and I, were to become a full-page spread on the back page of a Hollywood publication. The photographer he selected to capture our happy faces was Rocky Salskov. And that was my introduction to this unique artist.

Rocky first fell in love with photography while studying architecture at the University of Washington where he tried a photography course within the architecture department. It was his good fortune to discover this class, for it was taught by Christian Staub, a brilliant German Swiss, who had studied and taught with some of the most influential artists in Europe in the late 30's & 40's. He became Rocky's mentor.

While studying at the U.W., his enthusiasm for art/photography grew. He read tirelessly about every photographer he could find. Between classes he would study old fashion magazines (Vogue, Bazaar, Glamour, Mademoiselle) for hours.

He would study the styles of the photographers that he admired most . . . Avedon, Penn, Blumenfeld, Man Ray, Moholy-Nagy, Robert Frank, Helmet Newton, and certainly Albert Watson. Rocky realized after graduation that he needed more education to fulfill his growing dream of becoming a great photographer. He was admitted to the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, California.

Rocky was hired while in school to assist Albert Watson,which was a wonderful education and opened up numerous possibilities. While Albert was out of town, he had the opportunity to assist Helmet Newton, who shot Orson Welles for a Japanese Scotch commercial. Orson actually was tossing the scotch out of his glass while Helmet shot it.

"Photography used to be much more technical than painting or at least mechanical,” he points out, ”but now with the advent of the computer and photoshop, they are quite similar in some ways. One uses a brush, the other a camera/computer. The creative process can be the same in any art form. One of the things that interests me currently is how art & commerce overlap -- color, design, concepts, use, etc. Some of the great architects, product designers, car designers, & now interactive designers are developing whole new ways of creating wonderful art work."

It is fashion photography that allows Rocky's imagination to run wild. He loves working with the opera, as he is interested in learning about each opera and its composer by doing extensive research and learning the music. He loves working with the companies that embrace his creativity and welcome his ability to step outside the box. "I have photographed a number of film, high tech, and political personalities which has been very interesting. Learning about what other people think and create is very stimulating and gives me another brush to add to my palette. John Travolta, President Obama, Stephen Spielberg, Angelica Houston, Groucho Marx,President Clinton, Bill Gates, Hillary Clinton, & Michelle Obama are a few people who I have had the opportunity to photograph as well."

Rocky dreams of having a one man show in the Museum of Modern Art. And, as one who feels strongly about giving back, he has spent more than 15 years in the Big Brother Program.Rocky's best work comes when he is in touch with his own inner child. Having a mentor to inspire him has played a significant role in his life-long career. He strives to do the same and help children move forward in finding their own creative path in the world. This, he feels,keeps him connected to his own inner child.

The marriage that brought Rocky into my life has transitioned to a life-long friendship and the memory captured in the engagement photograph lives on.

To see more of Rocky Salskov's work:


Return to home page